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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, May 20, 2011 - Volume 39 Issue 20
International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia
Section One
ALL STORIES
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International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Associate Editor

On May 17, members of the world community observed the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO). The day aims to coordinate international events to call for respect for LGBT persons worldwide. Unlike Gay Pride, which is largely meant to emphasize pride in one's sexual orientation and refusal to be ashamed of it, IDAHO highlights that in reality it is homophobia that is shameful and must be deconstructed in its social logic and fought against openly.

May 17 was chosen as the day of the event because homosexuality was removed from the International Classification of Diseases of the World Health Organization on May 17, 1992.

'In every part of the world, men and women are persecuted and attacked because of who they are or whom they love,' said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a statement to the press. 'Homophobia, Transphobia, and the brutal hostility associated with them are often rooted in a lack of understanding of what it actually means to be LGBT. So to combat this terrible scourge and break the cycle of fear and violence, we must work together to improve education and support those who stand up against laws that criminalize love and promote hate.'

As we mark the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia this May 17, let us resolve to redouble our efforts, she said.

'On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I am proud to reaffirm our support for LGBT communities at home and abroad, and to call for an end to discrimination and mistreatment of LGBT persons wherever it occurs,' said Clinton. 'Whether by supporting LGBT advocates marching in Belgrade, leading the effort at the United Nations to affirm the human rights of LGBT persons, or condemning a vile law under consideration in Uganda, we are committed to our friends and allies in every region of the world who are fighting for equality and justice. These are not Western concepts; these are universal human rights.'

'Despite these gains and hard work, there is more to do to turn the tide of inequality and discrimination against the LGBT community. If you are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, or Transgender, know that the United States stands with you and we are unwavering in our commitment to ending this cycle of hate,' she concluded.

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